If you’ve ever ordered a Domino’s pizza online, you’re probably familiar with their tracking system. In the early 2010s, Domino’s released a tracker for online orders that provides real-time updates as your pizza moves through the various stages of creation to delivery.
As your pizza moves from one stage to the next, each section pulsates and then changes color to show where your pizza is in real time. (Source: Huffington Post)
The tracker doesn’t tell you anything particularly new about the pizza-making process: we’re all relatively familiar with how a pizza is made and what it takes to get it to our door. But what it does do is take the mystery out of the waiting period. By giving us transparency into the process, it removes the anxiety of having to wonder what’s going on over there while you’re waiting for your pizza to arrive. (It’s also especially helpful for parents who have kids that want to ask “is it here yet?” on repeat.)
How invisible workflows make us feel out of control
One of the most anxiety-inducing aspects of a project is not knowing where things stand. Maybe a spreadsheet you need still hasn’t been submitted by a team member and they’re not responding to your follow up messages. Or you realize there’s a major deadline coming up but the employee in charge of it is out of office and didn’t tell you who they handed their work off to.
You might know the overarching steps of when the deadline is, who the task is assigned to, and what work they need to execute to complete it, but you have no way of gauging in real time how far it’s progressed.
Take a fresh sales lead. You’ve handed it off to your sales member, but unless you manually follow up or wait until your regular check in, you might not know where things stand. Did your sales member call them? How many times? What was said? Is it a hot lead or will you lose it? And if you lose it, is it because your service wasn’t a good fit or because your process wasn’t fast enough to address their needs?
Without transparency, you have no way to know. And without that knowledge, fine-tuning your process for a better outcome is reduced to a matter of guessing.
Building a transparent process for your projects
In a world where projects are increasingly complex in nature, the need for real-time transparency is critical. It’s not just about accountability–it’s about being able to identify bottlenecks and opportunities that can harm or help your processes.
Imagine the ability to lay out a process much in the same way Domino’s does with their pizza.
You log into a dashboard and can see exactly where a task stands in real time in a workflow. Only add even more transparency: instead of just seeing a status, you can see who the task is currently assigned to. You can also see that person’s activity around the task, including their notes, actions, and any other steps they’ve taken.
And it’s not just you seeing this real-time report–they can see it, too. So both of you are exactly on the same page about where things are at any given moment.
Creating transparency with Kintone’s workflow management tool
This kind of radical transparency is possible with Kintone’s workflow management tools. With Kintone you can lay out as many or few steps of a workflow that you want to track, and then launch it for instant use. Here's an example of a setting up and tracking a workflow for email marketing tasks.
These steps can be easily implemented in Kintone via the process management settings. Simply list out the steps and organize the action that occurs as each step is marked complete. Once created, the steps live at the top of every task record you create and submit, meaning every task has its own status tracker.
Each record contains not only a record of where the project is a given workflow; it also shows even more detailed activity in a History button, which can be accessed from the same task page at the click of a button.
You can also easily re-assign a task in case someone is out of office or just out of bandwidth without sacrificing visibility. See below how the task, originally assigned to Euna, is being re-assigned to another team member Nimrod in a single step on the task page. This will shift keep the workflow visible while automatically incorporating the new person into it.
And as a bonus, the person it’s re-assigned to is automatically notified of their new task. So if you forget to send a follow up email–not a problem. They’ll still know.
Building a workflow that isn’t built around you
One of the major challenges of most traditional workflow tools is that managing the handoff between steps is almost always a manual process. It’s on the manager to track these handoffs and either manually execute them with an email or message, or follow up on when they need to happen with a couple reminders.
Kintone’s workflow management features also automate this part by providing for a wide range of notifications that can be customized depending on what’s needed.
A manager can set a General Notification to alert them anytime someone changes a project status or adds a comment to the task record. (This is great for tracking real-time updates without having to manually open and check each record for information.)
A manager can also set Reminder Notifications that auto-remind assigned members of impending deadlines or other important metrics. (For example, a reminder that the deadline is three days away, or that they need to upload their data by noon on Monday for the weekly meeting.)
Kintone’s workflow management tools offer project managers and team leaders a chance to answer the what’s going on over there question that comes with team collaboration without resorting to micromanagement or stacking additional actions onto their already overloaded workload.
It also offers the chance to see what is and isn’t working in a given workflow–and quickly take steps to resolve it. Adding and implementing a new step can take just a few minutes with Kintone’s drag-and-drop interface.
Transparency offers a chance to reduce anxiety
While Kintone’s transparent workflow features might not be as tasty as a Domino’s pizza, they’re infinitely more satisfying. By creating a clear visual for every step in a workflow, leaders can easily check their anxiety at the door when it comes to project management. Tasks, once handed off, no longer disappear off the radar. They remain constantly visible for an uninterrupted picture of what’s going on. And with the burden of manually reminding people what’s due now automated, leaders are now free to spend that time elsewhere: reviewing their process and finding ways to improve it, working on another project idea, or ordering a Domino’s pizza for office lunch.
Want to see your workflows laid out in Kintone?
Interested in seeing what your process might look like in Kintone? Schedule a free consultation with one of our product specialists. We’ll help you outline the steps in your existing processes and then show you how they might be improved with Kintone’s workflow management features.
Consultations are a great way to quickly see if Kintone is right for your needs. Whether you have a question about our workflow tools or want to see us rebuild a process for you, we’ll give you the information you need to make the best decisions for your business.
Sound good? Hit the link below to schedule a chat.
About the Author
Michelle is the Content Marketing Specialist at Kintone. She is a content marketing expert with several years in content marketing. She moved to San Francisco in 2015 and has experience working in small businesses, non-profits, and video production firms. She graduated in 2012 with a dual degree in Film and English.